A compensation package worth €100 million for Central and Eastern European farmers is being blocked by the European Commission, as it alleges that Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia are preventing the transit of Ukrainian products being exported to countries that wish to receive them.
Sources in the European Commission have confirmed reports that there are problems with signing off on the financial support for farmers who have been affected in recent months by the dumping of cheap Ukrainian grain flooding the internal European market.
It is understood that €40 million of the compensation is designated for Poland.
According to the Commission’s spokesperson Miriam Garcia Ferrer, “there are still issues to be resolved and some challenges to be confronted” before the package of support for the farmers can be made available.
The Commission alleges that the five countries are failing to meet their side of the bargain per which the EU executive approved a ban on Ukrainian imports into those countries in return for the removal of unilateral bans and the lifting of restrictions on transit.
According to sources, the Ukrainian government has put pressure on Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the final go-ahead has to be approved by her. She wants guarantees that there will be no more restrictions on the transit and re-export of Ukrainian grain to countries that wish to receive it.
Von der Leyen is also opposing the transfer of €330 million in support for the remaining EU countries, an amount that was offered to ensure that Spain, Italy and France would not block the €100 million compensation package for the five Central European states.